A new survey by the New York City Hospitality Alliance of 450 restaurants, bars, and nightlife spots across the city reported that 87% were unable to pay their full rent in August and 34% were unable to pay anything for it.
“Restaurants, bars and nightlife venues have been financially devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Andrew Rigie, executive director of the Alliance of 24,000 eating and drinking establishments, employing more than a quarter of a million of people in NYC, according to its portal.
“Even before the pandemic, when they were operating at 100% occupancy, these small businesses struggled to stay open. Now we are seeing widespread closures, approximately 150 thousand workers in the industry are still out of work and the vast majority (…) cannot afford to pay the rent, ”said Rigie, quoted by CBS2.
“The hospitality industry is essential to the economic and social fabric of New York, and to ensure the survival of these vital small businesses and jobs, we urgently need rent relief, an indefinite extension of meals served outdoors, a roadmap for the expansion of the service in the interior, a business interruption insurance and the immediate approval of the Law of Restaurants by the Congress ”, summarized Rigie.
“I don’t want to be dramatic, but this is apocalyptic for the industry,” said Gabriel Stulman, owner of eight restaurants in the city. The sector also suffers from the exodus of population, the lack of tourists and the paralysis of Broadway.
From next Wednesday the 30th, NYC restaurants will be able to offer services indoors at 25% of their capacity, an option available for weeks in the rest of the state.
Meanwhile, the outdoor service, which depends on weather conditions, has been extended to last until October 31. Mayor Bill de Blasio said yesterday that there would be an announcement about the program next week.